Welp, it's official Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic was released, and I have already installed it on my main laptop. So far, the results are very pleasing. For the laptop, I didn't go with the upgrade path, I decided to simply backup (rsync) my home space to an external USB drive, format and install Karmic fresh. I prefer that method on my laptop type devices, as it feels better to have a fresh install. My server will go through the upgrade process, once I get to that. I'll be out of town next week, so that will have to wait until I return. The laptop is running fine, and feels MUCH faster. I see no fallout with Karmic.
I didn't like the fact that Ubuntu dumped Pidgin for Empathy, but a simple:
sudo apt-get remove empathy
sudo apt-get install pidgin
...took care of that. I also did the normal process of removing f-spot and tomboy, replacing those with gThumb and Gnote. First, I had to add the Gnote PPA, and then simply ran:
sudo apt-get purge mono-runtime libmono0 mono-common libgdiplus tomboy
sudo apt-get install gthumb gnote
The laptop is now mono free, and running all the apps I need. I was also able to quickly install and launch Glade to get pyconnmgr and pyscreenie updated to work with Karmic. I've even updated my PPA with the newer versions.
The only real issue I have had is with HandBrake. But that is a problem with HandBrake and not Karmic. Plus, since the HandBrake devs decided to drop support for the common and widely used AVI/OGM containers, I'll simply drop HandBrake and go back to using mencoder.